An ell had been pushed back on the level behind the house; the barn had been moved farther to the southward, and on its old site a laundry built, with quarters for the help over it. All had been carefully, frugally, yet sufficiently done, and Westover was not surprised to learn that it was all the effect of Jackson Durgin's ingenuity and energy. Mrs.

The Durgins are as good as wheat, right along, all of 'em; and I guess Mis' Durgin's mother must have been a pretty good woman too. Mis' Durgin's all right, too, if she has got a will of her own." Whitwell returned from his scientific inquiry to ask: "How 'll she take it?" "I don't know," said Cynthia, dreamily, but without apparent misgiving. "That's Jeff's lookout." "So 'tis.

Marven more than he could. The ladies said that Mrs. Durgin's behavior was an outrage, and they ought all to resent it by going straight to their own rooms and packing their things and leaving on the same stage with Mrs. Marven. None of them did so, and their talk veered around to something extenuating, if not justifying, Mrs. Durgin's action.

"I don't let persons slip through my fingers." Richard curbed an impatient rejoinder, and said quietly, "William Durgin had an accomplice." Mr. Taggett flushed, as if Richard had read his secret thought. Durgin's flight, if he really had fled, had suggested a fresh possibility to Mr. Taggett. What if Durgin were merely the pliant instrument of the cleverer man who was now using him as a shield?

"This could make all the difference in the world to the case," Garrison told him. "Did he say what he'd done with this new document?" "Just that he'd made a new will." "Who helped him? Who was the lawyer? Who were the witnesses?" "He didn't say." Garrison felt everything disarranged. And Durgin's ignorance was baffling. He went at him aggressively. "Where was your uncle when he wrote the letter?"

In the old porch under his window Westover heard whispering. Then, "You behave yourself, Jeff Durgin!" came in a voice which could be no other than Cynthia Whitwell's, and Jeff Durgin's laugh followed. He saw the girl in the morning.

Marven more than he could. The ladies said that Mrs. Durgin's behavior was an outrage, and they ought all to resent it by going straight to their own rooms and packing their things and leaving on the same stage with Mrs. Marven. None of them did so, and their talk veered around to something extenuating, if not justifying, Mrs. Durgin's action.

Durgin's prompt protest, he fancied that Jackson meant that the boy had been over-indulged by his mother: "I understand," he said, in default of something else to say, "that the requirements at Harvard are pretty severe." "He's passed his preliminary examinations," said Jackson, with a touch of hauteur, "and I guess he can enter this fall if we should so decide.

Something of the same thought must have been in the mind of John Pendleton some time later that same morning, for, from the veranda of his big gray house on Pendleton Hill, John Pendleton was watching the rapid approach of that same horse and rider; and in his eyes was an expression very like the one that had been in Mrs. Nancy Durgin's.

Besides, there was William Durgin for company, when the long nights of the New England winter set in. The idea smiled so pleasantly in Richard's fancy that he pushed the plate away from him impatiently, and picked up his hat which lay on the floor beside the chair. That evening he moved from the Shackford house to Mrs. Durgin's cottage in Cross Street. It was not an imposing ceremony.